Growing poverty at Rome's Termini station

1,500 new requests for assistance at station's help centre

The day centre at Rome's Termini station received 37,000 requests for assistance last year, according to findings by the Osservatorio Nazionale sul Disagio e la Solidarietà nelle stazioni italiane (ONDS), presented in Rome on 17 July.

The annual report states that the implementation of a sustained "path to recovery" was necessary for about 17,000 of the disadvantaged or homeless people who sought help at Binario 95, Termini's day centre for people with no fixed abode on Via Marsala.

For the others, immediate intervention was sufficient to help them on their way. There were 2,822 habitual users of the centre last year, of whom over 1,500 were new. Foreigners counted for over 2,000 of these: 77 per cent men and 23 per cent women. The data revealed that over 70 per cent of those in difficulty were foreign, and about half were aged between 18 and 40.

The report into the situation at day help centres in 14 Italian stations was backed by state railway company Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) and the national association of Italian municipalities ANCI.

Separately, Italian newspaper La Repubblica recently quoted a representative from the Lazio branch of police trade union ANIP Italia Sicura who said that over 100 pickpockets are arrested each day at Termini despite the fact that less than half of the station's security cameras actually work.

For details on the help centre see the Roma Termini website and for more insights into day-to-day life at Binario 95 see related article.